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Three keys to win the race to 5G profitability in an open ecosystem

5G will enable people to connect with everything, creating a path to new digital services and business models with the expectation of personalization in the mix. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and their IT organizations are still struggling to deliver these hyper-personalized digital experiences, but this can be fully unlocked with transactional offers surfaced seamlessly at the right points in the customer journey. 

A recent report from KPMG and Harvey Nash confirmed that customer-centric organizations are 38% more likely to report greater profitability than ones that are not. As transformation leaders, CIOs are in a unique position to enable a customer-centric view of technology and help the business transform in the digital age.

The CIO’s role is evolving from securing real-time delivery of IT infrastructure and services to creating new market-ready digital services. In their quest to drive digital across the business, CIOs need to bet on the right partners and new sources of IT capacity. There is more to selecting partners than their solution capabilities, product features, performance or AI capabilities. Now, CIOs look for trusted partners and advisors who will support their organization and help them to leverage agile software delivery, roll-out new digital services faster though customer-centric operations and drive innovation for 5G.

So, what are the three keys to success when shifting the business to these new models?

1. Agility and trust to manage complexity and optimize Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

As reported in the TM Forum CTIO outlook 2020, agile remains one of the biggest challenges for service providers and CIOs. Many large operators must support thousands of siloed and legacy systems. With software “eating the world” and the movement to converged network and IT clouds, skills are needed to overcome the barriers to agile software delivery.

Key imperatives for service providers to transform to a digital approach include:

  • Moving from an infrastructure play to a full platform-centric approach, allowing delivery of applications as a service and leveraging the digital marketplace.
  • Using DevOps and agile methodologies to accelerate new service launches and business value realization.
  • Harnessing automation and automated testing to rapidly deploy at scale, maximize productivity and make “speed to market” a reality.
  • Designing and deploying solutions that require only a few integration points, thereby reducing TCO.
  • Embedding security and privacy by design and default from the beginning of any software application design phase.

What has become critical now for service providers is that software vendor partners deliver at least six releases a year and - most importantly - bring a product into production within a few days. Even at the end of a software cycle, there needs to be room to put in late requirements.

2. Expertise and focus to drive business value first

Market shifts and changing customer needs in a digital environment mean that companies must create short-term and more targeted strategic objectives. CIOs must adapt their IT strategies and be more flexible to meet these objectives and ensure that business value can be delivered in digital time.

To address digital demand, CIOs need to focus on business priorities so that IT investments, operating models and operational plans are aligned to enterprise outcomes. This means determining how IT capabilities are expected to transform the business in the new digital landscape, as Gartner highlights in its Run-Grow-Transform model.

The question then becomes how to move from being an IT service provider to becoming a real business catalyst fully participating in top line acceleration. CIOs should trust in and benefit from their vendors and suppliers who bring strong software expertise and digital capabilities to the table.

The key areas of partnering and collaborating closely with software vendors are:

  • End-to-end solution architecture and design, leveraging significant technology expertise and industry breadth. This allows rethinking of software platforms and operations in support of the next gen 5G business cases and /or multi-generational (4G/5G) critical projects.
  • Use case prioritization and development to quickly roll-out the most profitable digital services to the market through data science services, real-time analytics and service-centric operations. 
  • Design Thinking and AI are putting end users, consumer or companies, at the center of the innovation process, and enabling the extraction of meaningful customer insights from data lakes. CIOs can then convert those insights into targeted personalized services and drive next best recommendations for customers. (CIO Dive)
  • R&D capabilities and labs to trial new solutions in a 5G-ready environment and make sure they align early with the way service providers want to deploy and sell new digital offerings to end-customers.

3. End-to-end innovative solutions to navigate the path to 5G profitability

5G offers tremendous opportunities for service providers to grow and market new digital services in most businesses and industries. To win the race, CIOs need to build an innovation and digital-ready ecosystem that goes beyond connectivity and bridges the network to the business.

We at Nokia strongly believe in co-creation and co-development with our customers and partners. Below are some examples of end-to-end cloud-native use cases that will allow service providers to generate new revenue streams and delight their customers with an extraordinary experience:

In conclusion, collaborating with partners to innovate and grow is now crucial for CIOs to succeed in the fourth industrial revolution and the 5G era. Innovation is like assembling a mosaic. Per a recent quote from Chris Anderson, AT&T Vice President of Technology Transformation, “Partners understand our ecosystem, can bring us a lot of new ideas and work with us as part of the broader macro team.” To achieve the full picture, many people need to contribute their skills and expertise, and CIOs are best positioned to make technology play a pivotal role in customer experience and rewriting business models. 

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #5G

Claire Burgaud

About Claire Burgaud

Claire Burgaud is Head of Alliances and Services Marketing at Nokia Software with more than 25 years of experience in management & IT consulting, business development, and sales & marketing for leading companies across diverse B2B industries. With ample engineering and marketing expertise, she thrives in fast-paced environments that leverage new technologies, co-creation, innovation, and diversity. She is currently based in Dallas, Texas, and spends her free time volunteering for the French American Chamber of Commerce and the Ecole Centrale Paris in France.

Tweet me @cl_burgaud

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